Business Wisdom – Have an Enemy

by Paul Clark - Published on 8/3/2010 11:47 AM

Pick a fight

There’s a great piece of business advice in 37Signals’ “Getting Real”. It advises to "Have an Enemy":

“Sometimes the best way to know what your app should be is to know what it shouldn't be. Figure out your app's enemy and you'll shine a light on where you need to go.

When we decided to create project management software, we knew Microsoft Project was the gorilla in the room. Instead of fearing the gorilla, we used it as a motivator. We decided Basecamp would be something completely different, the anti-Project.”

We Pick Basecamp, and 37Signals

Today, in online project management, Basecamp is the new ‘gorilla in the room’. Now let us say it up front: Basecamp is a good app, and we have only respect for the team over there at 37Signals. They blazed the trail for online web project management, and their ‘less is more’ philosophy has been copied by countless ‘me-too’ imitators.

But that ‘less is more’ approach involves a very particular set of trade-offs, and many small and growing businesses are deciding that – for them – less is … well … just too little.

At BlueCamroo, we believe in giving our customers more: more features; more control; more choice; more value. We believe in simplicity, but not at the expense of letting you configure BlueCamroo to fit your individual ways of working. We believe in listening to customers, and responding quickly with features and updates that people are asking for.

Agreeable Software, not “Opinionated Software”

You’ve maybe read about the supposed benefits of “Opinionated Software”. (If you haven’t, it means software like Basecamp with very limited configuration options, that requires you to use it just the way the developer intended; not the way that may suit you best.) Now Opinionated Software does have one big advantage – it’s cheaper to write and maintain, so it should cost you less.

Think of it like Henry Ford’s famous colour choices for the Model T back in 1909 – “Any colour you want, so long as it’s black”. Ford was a true innovator, and he found ways to strip away complexity and deliver motoring at a price that made it accessible to everyone. And kudos to 37Signals for doing pretty much the same with their Opinionated Software approach in Basecamp and their other apps.

But times change, and expectations change. What was ground-breaking in 1909 would be laughable today. Go into a Ford dealership now – or any motor dealership – and you can expect to tailor any new car just the way you want it. Not just colour choice, but engine, gearbox, brakes, seats, wheels, stereo, satnav, etc, etc. And it will still cost less relative to what you earn than a Model T in 1909.

So while 37Signals and their imitators still offer you Opinionated Software, we’ve designed BlueCamroo to be agreeable software – an app that says “You want to run your business that way? OK, sure.” That’s why BlueCamroo proudly does have options and settings, and extra fields, and configurable workflow rules – so you can make the system your own.

Designed to be All-in-one

Another way we’ve chosen to be different is in our commitment to developing the most complete and capable all-in-one tool for small and medium businesses. Whereas BaseCamp and Highrise and the other 37Signals tools were designed and built as separate, stand-alone apps and are just beginning to learn to play nicely together, BlueCamroo has been designed from the ground up as an integrated, all-in-one solution for CRM and Project Management.

And time tracking… and customer support case management… and billing… and eMail Marketing. And much more to come.

And all this for, typically, about the same price as signing up to stand-alone CRM and Project Management apps in the form of Highrise and Basecamp.

31 Day Free Trial

If you’re ready for more than ‘any colour you want so long as it’s black’, and would like to give this year’s model a test-drive, BlueCamroo offers you a 31 Day Free Trial. (That’s one day more than Basecamp – giving you a full month, whichever month you start your trial.)

We look forward to welcoming you.

Do more, with BlueCamroo.

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Filed under: Business life, Roolosophy
User Comments
re: Business Wisdom – Have an Enemy
1/11/2017 2:36 PM by 1
re: Business Wisdom – Have an Enemy
1/11/2017 2:36 PM by 1
re: Business Wisdom – Have an Enemy
1/11/2017 2:36 PM by 1